King Colobus – Self Titled EP

king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

There are times when something just clicks with ears and imagination, instincts instantly seizing the day and directing responses with almost lustful energy. That is what happened to The RR when facing the self-titled debut EP from UK rockers King Colobus. From virtually its first breath on the opening listen, the four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions. It is pure drama, creative adventure as bold and ballsy as it is imaginatively intricate and sinisterly persuasive.

With its seeds sown in 2013, King Colobus officially stepped forward two years later. Vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson and bassist James Bailes had already collaborated on ideas and songs for a future project when independently they both relocated to Devon. There they linked up with Plymouth based guitarist Gavin Huck and drummer Simon Marsh, uniting as King Colobus.

There is no escaping inspirations found in the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Johnny Cash, and Interpol in the band’s sound but equally they have a personality and character to their music and songwriting which is sure to intrigue fans of others like Japanese Fighting Fish, Damn Vandals, and Inca Babies. There is uniqueness to their sound though which is most vocal and suggests why the quartet has already earned a potent live reputation whilst taking in shows supporting artists such as Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, De Staat, and Crazy Arm.

king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewRe-released this past week, the first King Colobus EP is a majestic introduction to the band and needs mere seconds to grip attention and appetite through opener Get Up. From its initial dark minatory melody, its texture wiry and tone ominous yet pure enticement, the track bounds in with swinging rhythms and a growling bassline supported by just as primal riffs. MacPherson instantly engages and recruits already persuaded ears, the song itself bluesy in air but pure virulent rock ‘n’ roll with an underlying punk snarl. It is a controlled web though, teasing and taunting rather than assaulting and only increasing its grip as a shimmer of guitar around alluring vocals breaks the tenacious trespass before breaking into an even bolder compelling incitement.

It is a stunning start swiftly reinforced by the song King Colobus, it too opening with a juicy lure before uncaging its heavy blues rock saunter. Bass and vocals stand individual in tone but equal in temptation as beats jab with relish at the senses, the song’s flames waiting to erupt in a sizzling blaze before settling down again until further incendiary expulsions throughout its compelling body. Showing an array of flavours making up their sound, at times the track reminds thoughts of Josh Homme and co and indeed The Doors but again the result is individual to the foursome.

Tits and Teeth steals its fine share of the passions next, its dark vaudevillian devilry carrying an air of sadly demised circus punks The Shanklin Freak Show, further evidence of the host of spices in the King Colobus invention. The song as good as stalks its victim but relishing its creative invasion of ears and imagination with energy eager to consume its prey whilst, with virulent catchiness, recruiting their participation.

Final track Wait immediately reminds of nineties band Skyscraper, having their instinctive rock ‘n’ roll infectiousness and tenacity to command attention; invention and imagination blossoming in its success. Grooves and hooks tangle the senses as rhythms ground out an easily given submission to their insistent prowess, vocals leading it all with their own rousing presence.

It is a glorious end to a must hear release not only bringing King Colobus to wider attention for the first time but suggesting there is really something major brewing down on the south coast.

The King Colobus EP is out now through all stores.

http://www.kingcolobus.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kingcolobus/

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lauren Hoffman and The Secret Storm – Family Ghost

lauren-hoffman_RingMasterReview

Often there is nothing more seductive in music than emotional and creative melancholy, a thought wonderfully backed up by Family Ghost, the debut album from Lauren Hoffman & the Secret Storm. Coming from the latest project of songwriter/vocalist/musician Hoffman, no stranger to acclaim through her solo releases, Family Ghost is an imagination stoking dark theatre of word, emotion, and beauty, or as potently suggested by its press release, “A whirl of cabaret, broken ballads, and indie rock, it is a collection of heart-bending narratives that double as emotional exorcism.”

Hoffman’s songwriting was already alive but was further nurtured by Jeff Buckley after she met him backstage while waiting for her father. He became her mentor up until his death in 1997, just one month before she released her debut solo album. Released by Virgin Records, Megiddo was critically acclaimed and subsequently followed by just as evocative and striking encounters. Hoffman assembled the Secret Storm a few years ago with its intimately and personally open Family Ghost built on songs written over a decade ago as well as newer explorations by their creator.

The release opens with Don’t Look Back, a tantalising serenade with wistful melodies and a brush of rhythmic coaxing around the enticing tones of Hoffman. The shadowy groans of cello from Cathy Monnes (of the indie-pop Sally Rose Band) are as potent and persuasive as the imagination of keyboardist Ethan Lipscomb, both bewitching textures in a swiftly riveting encounter. Its thicker crescendos of sound and evocation just reinforce the persuasive majesty of the song while all the time Hoffman’s vocals sublimely capture ears and thoughts.

family-ghost-artwork_RingMasterReviewFrom its gothic, funereal spiced enterprise, the band unveil a lighter gait and atmosphere with second offering Feel It All, though again the darker hues of cello and brooding tones of Jeff Diehm’s bass provide rich drama against the livelier air cast by guitarist Tony Lechmanski (Bella Morte) and Kevin Ardrey’s boisterous beats. Though less pronounced the vaudevillian touch of its predecessor colours the track to captivate before Let The Waves Crash On Me hugs the senses with its country rock/folk lit embrace. Its reflective heart and rich weave is a kiss on the ear, Hoffman a beacon at its core.

Sick With Love radiates in melancholic intimacy and vocal openness next while In The Sun bewitches as it grows in gentle but open intensity and imagination with each passing second. Both tracks easily excite but find themselves outshone by the following I Just Broke Up With A Guy Who Looks Kinda Like You. Carrying a Young Marble Like Giants like minimalistic air and seduction as bass and guitar entangle their descriptive prowess, the irresistible song blossoms into a tenaciously catchy slice of pop ‘n’ roll with spicy melodies and swinging rhythms. Even its magnificence though has to play second fiddle to the album’s title track which seduces straight after. There is drama in every riff, theatre in each ear flirting hook, while rhythms and vocals bring their own creative imagination to the compelling tapestry. Like a siren, the song lures the listener into its busy evocation of spirit and emotion.

Through the noir lit stroll of Fast Lane there is no let-up in the album’s grip on body and appetite. The song is as funky as it is jazzy, as folky as it is poppy; its dark rock ‘n’ roll nurtured croon simply haunting infectiousness. It is majestic in an understated but bold way, a success matched by the similarly catchy saunter of Broken. A thin but rich melody initially courts the magnetic presence and tones of Hoffman as the track offers another slim yet thickly provocative adventure and insight to get seriously caught up in.

The exotic bordering sinister hug of The Dragon comes next, the track a shadowy seductress in air, intent, and voice increasingly infesting and seducing body and psyche from its first provocative breath. There is also volatility in its nature which only adds to its might on the way to taking best track honours.

Family Ghost is concluded by the calm yet emotionally inflamed Til It Lasts, a fine end to a release which is Lauren Hoffman at her most creatively adventurous and open, backed by a band with as much suggestiveness in their sounds as in the singer’s heart bred words. It is darkly magical and sure to be on the favourites lists of a great many.

Family Ghost is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.thesecretstorm.com/   https://www.facebook.com/laurenhoffmanmusic/   https://twitter.com/ShhSecretStorm

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright